As JWs, we would have seen the adolation the Governing Body received. Even as far away as Australia, we thought and spoke of them with reverence. After all, they were figuratively at God’s right hand, with the prospect of one day being in heaven with Him. They were Somebody when we were relative nobodies. They represented the Organisation. They live in luxury without the same worries we have – no utilities bills, no cars to worry about, no need to go grocery shopping every week, no job worries, etc etc.
Some have accused exJWs of worshiping Ray Franz, but it is not worship, but respect. We respect what he had to do in the name of doing what was right. He gave away the adoration and worship of millions around the world, in order to follow his conscience.
I doubt he ever thought he would become a world-wide name. He was a writer, so he did what he could do best – write a book (then another one) about his experiences. Maybe he thought the books would help a couple of hundred, maybe a few thousand at best. I don’t think he ever imagined how the internet would bring together hundreds of thousands of exJWs together, let alone the impact his books would have on these people.
He never asked for worship. He didn’t have a group following. In all the years I’ve been an exJW, he’s come across as a very quiet, sincere man who didn’t want the limelight.
JWs worshiped the Governing Body because of who they were.
ExJWs respect Ray Franz because of what he did.